What are keywords?
SEO

What is the main purpose of using keywords in SEO?

What is the main purpose of using keywords in SEO? Keywords are what you use to define or explain ideas or topics you are writing about on your blog. Keywords will be in your title, meta description and in the content of your blog. For example, you want to write a blog post about ‘golfing swing tips’. These three words will be your keywords because they define what your post is about. The keywords also let Google know what you are writing about. That is very important because you want Google to show your post in the search results. You produce excellent content and Google will find the searcher for you. This is done through primary keywords. Your main keywords.

Why are keywords important?

Keywords are important because they tell others what the topic of your post is.

Let’s look at how important keywords are and where you should use them.

Put keywords in your title

Keywords need to be in your post title because when people are doing a search on the internet they are making decisions about what to click on based on the titles of the posts they see in Google search results.

If you have a post about golfing swings but golfing swings is not in your title tag. You will not get any clicks.

It does not matter how good your post is if no-one clicks on your link in the search results.

Let’s look at an example of search results.

In Google, I typed ‘how to improve my golf swing’. Here are the first page results I got from doing this search.

What are keywords?

The primary keywords from my search are improve, golf, and swing.

I am looking for ways to improve my golf swing so I need to know that if I click on a link it will take me to a post that will help me with my golf swing. The keywords in the title tag will help me make the choice of what post to visit.

As you can see from the list all of the first page results have the words golf and swing in their titles. All the titles you see here would be interesting to someone looking to improve their golf swing.

The post that has the top spot has the words ‘ 10 best golf swing tips ever’. I think this is a very good title.

It is easy to understand why this post would be the top spot with a title like that. If I am looking for golf swing tips, then this post tells me I don’t need to look anywhere else. The best tips can be found in this post.

Put keywords in your meta description

The meta description is the text displayed just below the title. It is a bit like a short introduction of what to expect if you click to go to this post.

When I write my meta descriptions I use a plugin called Yoast. With the Yoast plugin, you have a box in your WordPress editor to insert your meta description.

If you would like to know how to use Yoast to write your meta description, let me know in the comments and I will write a post for you.

Let’s look at the top three search results of my golf swing search to see what they have as their meta descriptions.

What are keywords?

Number one search position

Number one spot result tells us in his meta description that his top 10 golf swing tips are indispensable for someone who wants to improve their swing.

If I were looking for ways to improve my golf swing, I would be very convinced by the title tag and meta description of this post that I don’t need to go anywhere else.

It is very easy to understand why this post is number one.

If the content delivers on his promise then it would be hard to beat this post for the top spot.


Number two search position

Number two spot result tells us in the meta description that his post will help you add extra yards to your golf drive.

For someone looking to improve their golf swing, tips to improve drive range would be interesting for sure.

This meta description gives extra weight to their content by telling us these tips come from a Ryder cup winner.

I would click on this link because getting tips from a successful professional golfer must be good.


Number three search position

Number three spot result tells us in the meta description that we will get tips on how to improve our game. We will get ten top tips.

I personally think the top two results are more compelling, but this meta description says that we will get good tips to improve our golf game. This is a description that matches my search term.

Google chooses the meta description

Even though I write all my own meta descriptions for all my posts. There is no guarantee that Google will use it. Google analyzes your post and then decides what it will use as a meta description.

Sometimes it is what you set as a meta description. Sometimes it is part of a paragraph in your content that has the search keyword in it.

The aim of Google

Google wants to deliver the best search results possible for each and every user. They do this by matching posts they have in their data banks with search queries put into Google search.

The keywords you use help Google do this match. But it isn’t just about keywords, your content needs to be top quality too.

If you have a post that is full of primary keywords but doesn’t deliver quality content then you will not rank high if at all in Google.

You need a great title with your keyword, a meta description that helps you explain your keyword and great content that delivers on your keyword.

Google is continually updating the way it analyzes posts and their content. They want to try and find ways to make sure the poor quality posts don’t rank.

If you produce good quality content, great eye-catching titles and meta descriptions that make people want to know more. You will do well with Google.

Don’t take shortcuts or try to cheat the system. If you get caught by Google they will penalize your site and all your hard work will be for nothing.

How does Google decide what post is top?

Basically, Google will monitor what post gets the most clicks and adjust the search result to give the post with the most clicks a higher ranking.

It is not just about clicks though. Once a searcher clicks on a link, Google will check to see how long that user spends reading the post.

The longer the user is on the post the better Google understands that this post is a good match for that search query.

If a user clicks back straight away after going to a post that is a signal to Google that this is not a good match.

The post with the most clicks from Google search, this is called CTR (click-through rate) and longest session time (the time a user spends on the site) will get higher rankings. These are two clear indicators to Google that the post is good.

Do I need keywords for SEO?

SEO means ‘search engine optimization’. Google is the biggest search engine out there so when you write posts you need to write them in a way that Google understands what your post is about.

Choose your keywords and build your content around those keywords. Be helpful and give detailed information.

Make sure you don’t stuff too many keywords into your blog. This will make your content look unnatural. It will not flow when reading.

If the paragraph does not need a keyword don’t force one in there.

If you are not sure how many primary keywords you should have in your blog post. Then I would recommend you look at the first-page search results of keywords you want to rank for.

See how many they have in their posts. You don’t need that many. You just need enough to make your content clear and concise.

I keep seeing organic keywords. What are organic keywords?

Organic keywords are what is talked about when the purpose is to get free traffic.

Free traffic is when you have a blog post and then Google uses your post to serve in a search result.

The searcher is interested in your blog title and meta description and clicks on the link to go to your website. This is free (organic) traffic.

This is what all website owners want. Free (organic) traffic. If you work hard to build a great informative website there is no reason why you shouldn’t get organic traffic.

What are paid keywords?

Google has Google Adwords. Adwords are the sponsored ads you see in each search page result. Usually, they are on the right-hand side, along the top, and along the bottom.

These ads are activated by search queries. Google tries to show you ads that match your search query in the hope that you will click on a sponsored ad rather than an organic link.

If you click on a sponsored ad Google gets a payment if you click on an organic link they don’t.

Paid keywords work in the same way as organic keywords but the big difference is you have to pay to have an ad on the first page with paid keywords.

It is possible to get on the first page of Google with Adwords, but it will cost you. Cost is determined on the keyword you want to target.

The higher the competition the higher the cost. Be very careful if you go down this route. It could work out expensive for you.

They work on a pay per click system. If someone clicks on a sponsored ad then payment is due, if no-one clicks then nothing has to be paid.

How do I optimize keywords?

A great way to optimize keywords in your posts is by using Google’s search console.

In the search console, you can find the keywords that are generating traffic to your blog posts.

You look at the list of keywords and then use the keywords that are relevant to your post to expand your content. Make your content longer and more in-depth.

If you want to know how to use Google search console to optimize your keywords then I suggest reading my other article about how you can add ranking keywords to your content.

What are long-tail keywords?

Long-tail keywords are a number of words together to make one keyword. Usually, more than three words together are considered long-tail keywords.

For example, if you wanted to write a blog post about golf, then you will find it very hard to rank for the keyword ‘golf’ because there is so much competition.

If you targeted something like ‘tips to improve your golf swing’ you would have a better chance to rank because you have targeted a keyword with less competition.

In general, it is better to go for long-tail keywords than one or two-word keywords. There is less competition for longer keywords.

What are LSI keywords?

LSI keywords are keywords related to your main keyword. Using LSI keywords is a great way to expand your content. It also has the great benefit of helping Google better understand what your blog post is about.

There is a free online LSI keyword generator tool that I recommend you use to find keywords to help you expand content for your main keyword.

The main page looks like this.

What are keywords?

All you need to do is put your main keyword into the search box and the system will generate LSI keywords for you.

I will use my ‘golf swing’ keyword as an example.

I just put ‘golf swing’ into the search box and then click on generate.

After you click on generate the next message appears.

This message only appears for a few seconds and you get your LSI keywords.

As you can see you get a long list of related keywords. You could use these keywords to add subheadings to your content and make your post much longer and more detailed.

Google loves long content. Studies have shown that content over 1800 words rank better than shorter content.

It may feel that writing content of over 1800 words seems to be a lot of work but if you use subheadings and write content for each subheading. Before you know it you have over a thousand words.

Tips when writing content

When you write content, use subheadings and keep your sentences and paragraphs short.

Visitors to your website will scan your content. If you have clear subheadings, you should find people will stay on your website longer. They will scan to the heading that interests them and read from there.

Conclusion

Keywords are very important for Google and people who want to know what your site is about.

Remember when people do a Google search they will be seeing posts that are relevant to their search query. So you need a catchy title tag and meta description to get people to click on your link in the search results.

Your content needs to be thorough and helpful. Use LSI keywords to expand your content. If you want to get that top spot you have to be better than everyone else on that first page.

Use subheadings to make it easier for people to scan your content to find the part of it that is most interesting to them.

Building a good website takes time and patience. There is no quick way to speed things up.

When you first start out concentrate on getting good content written for your blog don’t worry about the visitor count. That comes later.

Comments

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